Is formula really a huge faff?(11 Posts)
My LO is just over 2 weeks old, until now I have been bf, but he is not gaining enough weight. The MW suggested we do some formula top up feeds to try and get his weight up as she thinks either I have a supply issue or he is possiting up too much and i'm not able to replace it fast enough. We are going to the doctor this afternoon about the possiting (I think it is reflux, so hopefully we can get it sorted).
The question is is making up formula feeds really a huge faff? I have been using the pre-made stuff up until now, but power is so much cheaper I feel I should give it a go. It's just it seems like it takes such a long time how can do that when the baby wants to be fed? Also can you keep it made up in the fridge so you just have to warm it up? I must admit the whole thing is stressing me out a bit, but I need my little boy to grow big and strong so I'll just have to put up with the guilt!
As his mum do YOU think your baby is doing well?
Does he seem content and producing wet nappies? Or do you think that yes, actually he really needs some more milk from somewhere?
If you think he needs some more milk from somewhere then of course go ahead and top up with formular, but if your mothers instinct is telling you your baby is fine, then dont feel obliged, if its not what you want. Perhaps try and get some sleep (im sure easier said than done) and eat and drink lots of foods, and try feeding a bit more and trying to express too.
That just might work and if you are worried about formular and your baby seems well and happy and healthy then no harm trying that for the next 48 / 72 hours while you try to increase your milk supply.... and if you are worried at any point can give formular if you want to.
It doesnt sound like you WANT to feed your baby formular
if you DO want to give formular then the powder needs to be added to freshly boiled water that has cooled to no less than 70C.... its advisable to use immeditely but can officialy be stored safely at the back of the fridge for 24 hours max. (ideally 12 hours)
Formula does not have to be the first course of action. If you feel there is a supply problem it can be fixed by changing and improving the way you feed to get more breastmilk into your baby.
Unfortunately too many midwives DO NOT understand breastfeeding well at all and give bad advice.
Some questions to get a clearer picture:
How much is he gaining?
Plenty of wet / dirty nappies?
Is he alert and happy?
How often re you feeding?
Are you offering both sides at each feed?
Are you feeding on demand?
Has your latch been checked - by a bf counsellor or feeding specialist?
Is he swallowing noticeably at each feed? Do you know how to check this?
If you can post responses we can get a better picture.
what makes the mw think there are supply problems? In addition to verylittlecarrots q's can you tell us about how you have been using formula so far? Eg how often and why... I'm not an expert but there are many on here who will be able to help if you can give us more info.
Many mw's know bugger all re bf.
no - formula is not a faff. really it's not.
but bf-ing and topping up IS a faff because it's extra hassle and time.
but you need to get some proper help with feeding if you baby isn't putting on weight. topping up isn't usually the answer - it could be latch / reflux or other issues. and if you don't want to top up, then try to see a lactation consultant or a feeding specialist...
My baby was topped up for the first six weeks. It was a gaff feeding, pumping, topping up with my milk and formula. With work we got to exclusive bf and at three months she's twice her lowest weight. If you want to ebf it is totally possible and now its definately a lot less gaff than formula. Get boob out, point at mouth is a lot less work than wash sterilise boil kettle, measure powder, cool, feed,repeat.
OK if you are going to use top-up formula, do please use the pre-made cartons until your DC is over 6 weeks. (I think it's 6 - must go and check.) Yes they are a lot more money, but they are sterile.
Powdered formula is not sterile! As nannyl says, you need to make it up with very hot water and let it cool down rapidly then refrigerate. Do not be tempted to add boiled-then-cooled to room temp water to powder as that won't kill the bugs! (I am still that you can still buy little boxes with dividers so you can pop a portion of formula in each when you go out. I have seen lots of folk then combine these with sterile water and just shake and feed... eeep)
There are a lot of guidelines (here is the main WHO page with links for safe formula feeding.) Please do read them, and don't be surprised if other people haven't. Babies are precious so why risk it, but so many don't know about the dangers of enterobacter sakazakii etc.
(DS was bf/ff for 3 months and then ff when it became obvious that no amount of desperate pumping was ever going to get enough out of me. I was gutted. But a healthy baby is preferable to a hungry baby, so you do what you have to.)
We made up a day's worth in one huge batch, weighing the bottles to get the right amount of powder to the right volume of water. (Yes, I'm a scientist. It does show... ) One bottle was immediately cooled and used, the rest rapid-cooled and then shoved in the fridge. The last bottle was never more than 20h old and the fridge set to 2C.
We did formula with various additives (DS has SN and was failing to thrive) and the hospital gave us the directions for making up a 24 hour batch of formula. But we were strict about getting it into the fridge as soon as possible and making sure it was thrown away BEFORE it hit 24 hours. Once it was out of the fridge it had to be used within the hour. We got into a routine and I'd do all the sterilising and mix the feed at the same time of day so it became part of the routine, but yes it was a faff (although ds ended up tube fed and I was mixing formula for 4 years......) I always kept some pre mixed cartons in just in case we were delayed or for taking out. Warming the bottle for use was just a case of sitting the bottle in a jug of hot water for a bit.
I know this sounds really crazy but I found that eating porridge really helps my milk supply. I don't know why but every time I have the stuff before bed I wake up the next day with a chest like Dolly Parton. It may not be the same for everyone though.
In my experience, MW/HV are VERY quick to suggest top ups of formula, which actually can counteract your supply.
Other have made very valid posts above which you should take into account before moving into mixed feeding - which can be a huge faff tbh.
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